Alexander Albon confident he can bounce back to achieve Formula One dream

Philip Duncan, PA F1 Correspondent

Alexander Albon says he has not given up hope on his Formula One dream after being dropped by Red Bull.

The London-born Albon, 25 next month, will be on the bench this year after Red Bull hired Sergio Perez alongside Max Verstappen.

Albon has endured a rollercoaster career. He was dumped from the Red Bull academy when he was 16, but he beat the odds to drive for Toro Rosso in 2019 and then earn promotion to Red Bull after just a dozen races.

“I have been through this situation many times in my racing career so it hasn’t been all that bleak,” said Albon, who will be Red Bull’s reserve driver for the upcoming campaign.

“There haven’t been any violins in the background.

“I am confident in myself. I know I can bounce back and that is my target. If you wallow around you are not doing anything to open doors, or to get a seat back.

“Of course, it was disappointing [to be dropped] and it was always going to be disappointing because this is our dream.

“But very quickly I realised there is no point feeling sorry for yourself, you have to get back into it and do as much as you can to get back. My goal is to be in a seat next year.”

Albon steadily impressed in his first season, but finished only seventh in the standings last year, four places and 109 points behind team-mate Verstappen.

Red Bull kept faith with him for the 17-race season before going outside their driver stable to sign Perez just five days after the concluding round in Abu Dhabi.

“There is no secret it was a difficult season for me but you have to take it,” added Albon.

“The decision was late because they made their choice late. It was there to see how the year progressed. My best race of the year was in Abu Dhabi. I felt like I was still improving.

“The team knows what I am capable of. They would have gotten rid of me completely if they didn’t believe in me. I know they still trust me and have faith in what I do.

“You never know what is going to happen in terms of fitness or with Covid around. I have been making sure I am as ready as I can be, as fit as I can be, and hopefully I will get a few days where I can drive the car.”

Red Bull will launch their 2021 car on Tuesday, ahead of the new campaign which gets under way in Bahrain on March 28.

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